Career-focused specializations for Communication majors

Focused areas of study for Communication majors

Students in the Communication major at Champlain take a common sequence of first-year courses that cover the main categories of communication and media professional work, including areas like graphic design, video storytelling, and media and society. You'll become familiar with various fields of communication, exploring different types of work and discovering what appeals to you most.

As you become a rising sophomore, you will formally declare which of our four career-specific specialization areas you will pursue. Your specialization tailors your education to suit your interests and professional goals, preparing you for your future career in communication. 

There are four additional concentrated areas of study in the Communication major that may be available as an optional specialization, depending on which required specialization you choose. Your Faculty Advisor will support you in fulfilling your graduation requirements as well as your interests and professional goals.

You can review each specialization by clicking on the title below.


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If you have lots of interests, are excited by the possibility of a number of career fields, and love to keep your options open, the Communication Studies specialization is a perfect fit for you.

  • Gain a general expertise in human interaction and relationships, including organizational leadership, small group communication, and conflict management.
  • Study the basics of graphic design, audio production, public relations, broadcast writing, and digital marketing.
  • Explore electives from creative media, business, and production that match your career interests.

The full curriculum for this specialization can be found on the Communication curriculum page.

Link to this FAQ

This specialization is all about hands-on multimedia production. Through applied learning, you'll come to understand:

  • the ins and outs of video field production, synthesis and sound design, online journalism, the music business, and web design; and
  • how to apply traditional skills to social media production, digital marketing and management, and legal issues in the media.

The full curriculum for this specialization can be found on the Communication curriculum page.

Link to this FAQ

For those whose passion is merging the written word and digital technology, the Media Writing specialization is ideal.

  • Craft written pieces for different media and audiences, including advertising, social media, and broadcast writing.
  • Gain understanding of the principles of public relations, grant writing, and digital marketing.
  • Build important skills for your writer's toolbox, like technical writing and professional copy editing.

The full curriculum for this specialization can be found on the Communication curriculum page.

Link to this FAQ

This cutting-edge and innovative specialization focuses on creativity, interpersonal skills, and social media savvy. Choose Public Relations/Strategic Communication if you thrive on being in the middle of the action and getting others involved.

  • Work with real clients to represent and manage their image.
  • Gain focused, holistic marketing skills.
  • Study writing for public relations.
  • Learn to leverage social media and digital marketing techniques. You'll develop the ability to gather, analyze, and present media measurements and metrics.

The full curriculum for this specialization can be found on the Communication curriculum page.

Link to this FAQ
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Event Management continues to gain momentum as a valuable and specialized skill set for organizations of all kinds. Special events are important strategies used by organizations to cultivate and maintain relationships with their clients, targeted audiences, and employees. In fact, special events are an industry in their own right, from fundraisers to corporate retreats to private parties and everything in between.

Champlain's 12-credit Event Management specialization gives hands-on experience to the action-oriented Communication major who enjoys managing various logistics and using creative problem-solving to craft an experience that brings people together. Get out from behind the desk and step into a field where no two days are the same and your transferable skill set gives you an added edge with today's employers.

  • Learn to manage events in both business and leisure contexts.
  • Coordinate a variety of logistics, including theme development, site research, food vendors, audio/visual accommodations, programs, registration and ticketing, crowd control, and security.
  • Examine the business side of events by writing proposals and agreements, working with a budget, marketing and gaining sponsorships, and performing risk management.
  • Gain firsthand experience through project-based learning, from initial concept development to post-event evaluations.
  • Participate in an on-site management internship to gain real-world experience and build valuable business relationships.

Courses in this specialization include:

Link to this FAQ

Journalism is at a crossroads. With an ever-increasing number of digital news venues, this constantly changing and growing profession offers more opportunity than ever before. Champlain's Journalism specialization prepares you with the hands-on skills, expertise, and knowledge to enter a field with enormous potential.

Matched with a Communication degree, the Journalism specialization gives students a distinguished skill set that will provide a distinctive advantage in the job market.

  • Learn the fundamental skills of journalism, including interview techniques, research, and deadline management.
  • Write extensively in the three primary narrative journalistic forms: news, features, and news features.
  • Incorporate audio, digital photography, and videography in journalistic webcasts and podcasts.
  • Examine the contemporary media environment, including corporate ownership, censorship, and the issues involving privacy, freedom of expression, and public interest.
  • Learn professional codes of conduct, artistic and social responsibility, and the ethics of reporting.
  • Join the staff of Champlain's student-run online news source, The Crossover, giving you firsthand experience in the production process.

Courses in this specialization include:

Choose one of the following:

Choose one of the following:

Link to this FAQ

Publishing is in need of new ideas and new media skills. If you are interested in pairing your Communication degree with an optional specialization in Publishing, you can work on real-world publishing projects and develop the new media skills many established publishers lack.

The Publishing specialization is set up around the WRT 346: Publishing in the 21st Century course, a project-based class that offers real-world experience working with clients. Projects may include traditional books, e-books, and other digital platforms, and may involve editing, design, illustration, marketing, social media, and event planning.

  • Learn how to conceive a publishing strategy that incorporates appropriate current technologies.

  • Make connections in the publishing industry with an internship.

  • Gain an understanding of the book production process, its sequence, and schedules.

  • Plan and execute team projects.

  • Learn professionalism by managing time, adhering to deadlines, and communicating with clients effectively and appropriately.

  • Apply the ethical and legal standards of the writing profession.

  • Plan and manage social media campaigns.

Courses in this specialization include:

  • WRT 346: Publishing in the 21st Century
    • Students in the Publishing specialization will take this course twice to get immersed in a broad range of publishing activities. Projects vary by semester so you won't be doing the same thing twice!

Choose two of the following courses that are within your area of study:

Choose one of the following courses outside of your area of study:

Link to this FAQ

Sonic Arts is much in demand for today's communication professionals. Learn the ins and outs of the audio and recording industry.

The important skills you develop through the Sonic Arts specialization will give you a tremendous advantage in the marketplace when you begin your job search.

  • Learn the fundamentals of music and how to create it on the computer using digital tools.
  • Hands-on sound production courses will introduce you to audio techniques, covering the basics of writing, producing, and engineering for audio production.
  • Learn how to write, produce, and perform a variety of programs including news, interviews, commercials, dramas, and documentaries.
  • Gain a solid understanding of digital audio recording and editing techniques for persuasion, information, and entertainment. You'll also become proficient in technical aspects of sound and music production, such as signal flows, mixing, mastering, compression, asset management, and online delivery.
  • Delve into creating sounds using current industry standard synthesizers. Working at digital audio workstations, you'll record and organize synthesized sounds and explore the vast array of electronic effects in Apple Logic.

Courses toward the end of this specialization sequence will have a specific emphasis on the creative and artistic aspects of sound design.

Courses in this specialization include:

Select three of the following:

Link to this FAQ